Aman hotels are typically built from scratch. Few are located in buildings that housed hotels before. Le Mélézin in Courchevel is an exception. Located in the former Le Savoy Hotel, it offers a radically different approach to luxury than anywhere else in the village.
Le Mélézin is a different from the majority of the properties of the Aman group. Whilst most feel incredibly spacious, Le Mélézin is intimate, and personal. Not only is it a comforting place, it is easily the most welcoming hotel in Courchevel. Its manager, Mme Serane is a highly experienced hotelier, and can be seen as the soul of the hotel. The service works around them, and the atmosphere here resembles that of the great old European mountain hotels, where guests came back every year, and built a long-lasting relationship with the owners.
As the hotel only opens during the winter months, guests inevitably come here to ski, and relax in the hotel afterwards. The hotel’s location on the belle-côte slope, is ideal, and the ski service is special, in that you will find your equipment prepared for your every single day. This focus on skiing, and winter sports dictates the hotel’s services, making it ideal for ski freaks.
The decoration at Le Mélézin is very much in harmony with the surroundings. After a day of skiing in the world’s biggest connected ski area, nothing is better than coming back to the warm, wood-dominated rooms of Le Mélézin. This a sense of warmth, and almost cosy feeling is something that we don’t usually associate with Aman. Here, however, it fits perfectly. On top of that, enjoying the beautiful pool, Jacuzzi or spa is the perfect way to wind down a long day on the slopes. The design and atmosphere are exactly where le Melezin stands out, and bear a certain similarity with other Aman hotels, in that they are devoid of pretence, and unnecessarily rich decoration. This simplicity really works here, and is a welcome contrast to the anonymous atmosphere that reigns in most of Courchevel.
The food offering is another point with which Le Mélézin distinguishes itself in the area. Prepared by the hotel’s chef, who is responsible for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this is the best food we have had in an Aman so far. Not only does he offer dishes from the menu, but if you have particular requests, he will try to accommodate them at any given point in time. This gives you the feeling that you have a private chef who looks after you, rather than being in a hotel.
What makes the Mélézin stand out is this personal, intimate feeling of the hotel. Not only do you feel looked after extremely well by Mme Serane and her staff, but for once in an Aman property, you get to meet the other guests.
Le Mélézin is one of the few hotels in Courchevel that feel genuine. This is not an ostentatious hotel, and there is none of the pretence that dominates Courchevel in it. What Le Mélézin has, however, is a sense of place, that is very much in line with Aman, and a sense of warmth and intimacy that is very much its own.